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Pleasanton Council to discuss proposed employee union contract at meeting tonight

Original post made by J.Q.P. on May 21, 2013

"Pleasanton Council to discuss proposed employee union contract at meeting tonight
by Jeb Bing
Pleasanton Weekly Staff


The Pleasanton City Council will hold a public discussion tonight on a proposed 3-year contract between the city and its regular unionized employees that calls for higher employee benefit contributions, reduced holiday hours but also a 2% wage adjustment. The meeting will be held at 7 p.m. in the council chambers inn the Civic Center, 200 Old Bernal Ave."

Comments (6)

Posted by S. Turkel, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 21, 2013 at 4:11 pm

I hope the city can award raises and higher pensions. These workers deserve it.


Posted by J.P.Q., a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 21, 2013 at 4:32 pm

Then you'll be happy to know they will receive 5% in wage increases during the contract.


Posted by resident, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 21, 2013 at 6:55 pm

What is the total increase in employee cost during this period? I would like to know how much the pension cost and other employee benefits is going up also.


Posted by Jim, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 21, 2013 at 7:22 pm

I also think their pensions are a bit stingy. Could we increase their pension payout amount, lower the retirement age, or both? I keep seeing all these "Facebook" and "Workday" and "Apple" millionaires with their stock options. Maybe government employees can get just a little increase. Just a thought.


Posted by J.Q.P., a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 21, 2013 at 7:59 pm

Wage increases do increase pension payouts. Employees also get wage increases in two different ways. The contract provides a blanket wage increase for ALL employes in the bargaining group. Employees also get 5% annual wage increases for each promotion, for five years (steps). For many employees over the past 15 years they have received both contract & step wage increases of 9% per year, while also having their retirement age reduced from 60 to 55 (which increases the taxpayer burden paying for retiree medical benefits by 5 years), and their pension payout increased from 2%@60 to 2.7%@55 - retroactively! That "retroactive" clause, approved by people that also benefited, has cost millions.

Jim, what more do you want? I'll send an email to the council asking them to incorporate your wish list into the taxpayer funded budget.


Posted by Arnold, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 21, 2013 at 10:37 pm

Resident,

Good question that deserves a two part answer. The first part is that the overall budget for the PCEA group has stabilized, although that is about to change dramatically. The reason for the stabilization in overall cost is only due to a reduction in headcount, and therefore a reduction in service. It has nothing to do with controlling individual employee costs. It is probably true that Pleasanton was overstaffed to begin with; Jennifer Hosterman conceded that may have been the case.

The second part of my answer is that employee costs continue on the same upward trajectory. Nothing has changed. For all the talk about controlling employee costs I just do NOT see it. Recent claims that employee contracts have saved money are erroneous (to put it nicely). Employee Contracts have claimed savings from employee concessions while ignoring the fact the city agreed to increase compensation in other areas of the contract, which completely offset the savings, while other portions of employee compensation are rising dramatically. Of course that was never mentioned. It wasn't until the CC Times pointed it out that city management was ever challenged. Even then the CC Times article didn't pick-up on all the compensation increases that completely offset the savings, while ignoring the increased costs of pensions, disability insurance, and increased medical benefit costs (current & retired workers). The savings claimed by the city of Pleasanton resulted in net increased employee costs.

More specifically, and to your point/question, the employee costs continue to rise at a pace that revenue can't catch. The rate at which employee costs are about to accelerate is astounding. I do Not see where city management has included those costs in their explanation of fiscal impact regarding the proposed contract. For me that is a BIG concern.

Because I keep seeing my name attributed to comments, some I agree with in part and others not so much, I haven't commented on anything in almost a month.


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